Topical drug delivery is a challenging research field, but quantifying topical drug delivery also has significant challenges, especially in the clinical studies. Both cosmeceutical and pharmaceutical endpoints largely drive research in this area. Conventional drug delivery approaches primarily rely on testing trans dermal drug kinetics using excised skin in Franz cells. Thus is a largely unmet need for non- and minimally invasive approaches to evaluate topical drug delivery and efficacy in excised and volunteer skin. We are meeting this need through the development of non-invasive imaging based approaches such as fluorescent dermoscopy, fluorescence scanning and confocal microscopy followed by image analysis. Minimally invasive microbiopsies are being used to extract drug concentrations from tiny pieces of skin without the need for local anaesthetics and without scars. This combined strategy enables us to collect drug disposition information in addition to skin morphology and molecular characterisation which provides a more dynamic and comprehensive way to examine drug deliver, effects of enhancement technologies and efficacy.
Tarl W. Prow, "Combining imaging with microbiopsy enables a more comprehensive approach for topical drug research (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10046, Visualizing and Quantifying Drug Distribution in Tissue, 1004608 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2256642.5370230226001.
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